Citrus extract shows benefits for diabetics: Study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Daily supplements of citrus-derived flavanoids and limonoids may reduce risk factors for diabetes like glucose tolerance, suggests data from an animal and pilot study with humans.

The branded Diabetinol ingredient produced significant reductions in glucose intolerance, total cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol levels, according to findings published in the Journal of Functional Foods​.

“These data suggest that Diabetinol as a natural food product may have a protective effect in individuals with a combined impaired fasting glucose and hyperlipidemia,”​ wrote the researchers, led by Malkanthi Evans from Ontario, Canada-based KGK Synergize.

Diabetes affects an estimated 24 million Americans, equal to 8 percent of the population. The total costs are thought to be as much as $174 billion, with $116 billion being direct costs from medication, according to 2005-2007 American Diabetes Association figures.

Study details

The researchers performed two studies – one with hamsters, and the other a pilot study with 19 people with impaired fasting glucose.

The hamster study involved 18 male animals divided into three groups: One group consumed regular chow, the second group was fed with 60 percent fructose, and the third group received the 60 percent fructose group supplemented with 1 percent Diabetinol.

Compared to the hamsters fed only the fructose, the citrus extract-supplemented group demonstrated a decrease in blood glucose, insulin, total cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels, said the researchers. Furthermore, no adverse events were recorded.

The human randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, conducted by Florida-based SIBR Research Inc., involved 19 people with impaired fasting glucose. The subjects, who were all receiving oral medication, were assigned to receive a daily 1050 milligram dose of the citrus extract or placebo for 84 days.

At the end of the study the researchers noted significant improvements in total and LDL cholesterol levels of 13 and 23 percent, respectively. Furthermore, a reduction in glucose intolerance was observed, said the researchers.

The researchers confirmed that study was ongoing in this area with an “additional six-month study is underway to evaluate Diabetinol treatment in a larger sample of subjects with type-II diabetes”​.

Source: Journal of Functional Foods
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2010.04.005
“Efficacy of Diabetinol on glycemic control in insulin resistant hamsters and subjects with impaired fasting glucose – a pilot study”
Authors: W. Judy, W. Stogsdill, D. Judy, J. Judy, P. Sharma, M. Evans, N. Guthrie

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